This Other Life

As I looked out at the beginning of our last morning at Seacrest I thought, what if I lived this other life?

What if I lived life each day in this beautiful place where my choices were my own, my responsibilities only to myself and Dan and our happiness, our schedule our own?

What if each day were spent pondering where to sit in the white powdery sand or where to go to for dinner after a stroll down the beach at sunset, cocktail in hand?Shiva and Buddha on the sunporch at twilight…

Not reality, of course, and not an option, either (unless I win the latest HGTV sweepstakes). And, I don’t want that to be my everyday life. I love vacation and the suspension of reality that it brings, that brief escape from worry and stress. I love that it gives me the gift of recharged batteries and a renewed perspective clear of the everyday routine.Dan enjoying sunset on the sunporch…

However, living like that every single day? While as tempting as it may sound, real life, real life fraught with all of its inherent craziness is what I crave. Only through experiencing all of life- the beauty and peace of vacation, the stress of looming deadlines and performances, beautiful evenings on the sunporch with my sweet husband and animals, heartbreaking failures and losses and joyous successes, laughter and tears- all of it…only then am I truly alive.


Real life is full of mystery and opportunity, choices to make, adventures to learn and grow from. This month alone is full of adventure; I am in Vancouver attending and performing at a conference and doing a guest artist recital and lecture at the University of British Columbia- my first ever visit to this gorgeous city. I am hearing other university colleagues perform and lecture, reconnecting and being inspired by some brilliant playing and some exciting new music. The UAB Chamber Trio at our recital today.

Tomorrow afternoon I get to present a lecture on my book and then perform music written for my soprano colleague and I by the wonderful composer, Lori Laitman. I return home late Monday night and then fly to Bari, Italy, the next day to judge an international clarinet competition for a week. A visit to my clarinet maker, Backun Musical Services in Vancouver…

During it all I’m juggling trying to practice and rehearse for my faculty recital that takes place a week after I return from Italy, preparing for a Concerto performance with the UAB Wind Symphony, teaching my students, doing my best to keep up with home life joys and obligations, duties as Associate Chair of our Department and as President-Elect of the International Clarinet Association, weight-loss challenges while on the road, supporting dear friends who are facing their own real life. How grateful I am to have such a full and rich life, one that never fails to challenge and excite me- and to share my life with a good and kind man who looks at life through the same lens of hope and positivity that I do. City scenes in Vancouver and lunch at the amazing Minami Japanese Restaurant…

Life may overwhelm me at times and I may agonize over how I’m going to get everything done and done well…but I wouldn’t trade any of it. I will enjoy those little pockets of that ‘other life’ of vacation to recharge and renew, but I will dive right back into the fray of my real life- the life full of everything, where no day is the same, bumps and bruises and celebrations, forever seeking balance. And I will be so grateful for it all. Vancouver Airport…Home, sweet home…

4 thoughts on “This Other Life

  1. So much to do! It sounds like a flurry of activities but also the renewed zest to tackle any challenge. I hope your travels are a smooth road with warmth and friendship at your destination!

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